American Dreamer is: Sasha Klare-Ayvazian (vocals/guitar), Camille Schiess (violin), Courtney Castañeda (cello), Dana Wygmans (vocals, bass), and Rick Palese (drums).
“The Texas-based quintet cultivates a sense of warmth and wonder with their incredible blend of folk, orchestral, and popular stylings.” –Atwood Magazine
The seed for American Dreamer was born in 2006 while Sasha was attending Oberlin College. Sasha’s freshman roommate was cellist Danny McCormick. Sasha came from a rock background and Danny from a classical upbringing, but over the year the two played and performed together finding commonalities between the two styles. After Sasha graduated from Oberlin College, this folk-classical fusion concept lay dormant for several years until he moved to Austin to pursue his M.M.Ed. from the University of Texas at Austin. At UT, Sasha connected with peers Camille, Dana, Courtney, and Rick–all former or current UT graduate students–and together breathed new life into this sound. Expanding beyond just cello and guitar, American Dreamer is now a quintet with three classically trained musicians.